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Don't forget about unseen assets

Families in the throes of estate planning may sometimes forget about some assets, such as Medicare, retirement accounts, and Social Security. These are assets that can be very important down the road and could carry a lot of value within the estate. A wrong move in the consideration of such assets could have serious repercussions.

These types of assets will pass on to a designated beneficiary, chosen by the current recipient. If a deceased spouse has outstanding medical bills and was a Medicare recipient, a surviving spouse can count on those expenses to be covered. They would not have to worry about those bills having to be paid out of estate funds. If the deceased was drawing a monthly check from Social Security, the widowed spouse would then be able to collect that benefit.

It is especially important to make sure all retirement accounts have a properly named beneficiary. Often, these accounts hold large sums of money. If the account owner failed to name a beneficiary, it could create drastic problems after death, in a time when loved ones are trying to pick up the pieces and move forward. A surviving spouse may have to rely on accounts like these to pay final expenses and handle other expensive matters.

Allowing an estate planning attorney to assist you and your family will help make sure issues like these do not get overlooked. While they may seem small on paper, they can become big problems when not handled properly. These matters are an essential part of any complete estate plan.

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